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» December 4, 2006 «
Mexican agricultural officials have completed a tour of spinach farms and processing facilities in the Salinas Valley. The team spent the past week meeting with farmers, processors and food-safety officials. Mexico suspended imports of California spinach during the E. coli incident in September. Governor Schwarzenegger urged Mexico to lift the ban during a trade trip there last month.
After coping this year with a heat wave, a hot political campaign, an intense focus on food safety and much more, members of the state's largest farm organization gather in Anaheim today (Monday). More than 800 people will attend the California Farm Bureau's 88th Annual Meeting. Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar will outline the organization's priorities during a speech today. Later, delegates from 53 county Farm Bureaus will debate and adopt policy positions.
Ever want to go into the sterile-fruit-fly business? If so, the U.S. Agriculture Department would like to talk to you. The USDA says it's seeking partners to help it produce hundreds of millions of sterile fruit flies each week. Crews release sterile Mediterranean and Mexican fruit flies to mate with wild flies and reduce the threat they pose to crops. The department conducts ‘preventive release’ programs with sterile fruit flies in California, Florida and Texas.
It's harvest season for one of California's most specialized crops. A few farmers grow macadamia nuts in San Diego County, where officials reported about 170 tons of production last year. Most California-grown macadamias ripen between October and April, and many farmers sell the nuts at farmers' markets. Farmers report a good crop, but say rain during bloom last spring has reduced production somewhat.Top